PRESS RELEASE: Contact: Lillibeth Navarro, (213) 840-4199;
Cynde Soto, (213) 627-0477
October 31st, 2016:
WHAT ABOUT THE NIGHTMARE OF GETTING ABANDONED TO DIE?
The State Has Broken IHSS & Is Sending Persons With Disabilities To Institutions!
Los Angeles, California: People with disabilities are having a press conference at the accessible entrance of the Los Angeles City Hall on 200 N. Main Street on Tuesday, the first of November, 2016 at 12 o’clock noon to decry the bureaucratic nightmare of late and complicated timesheets, mandated background checks and needless training resulting to delayed and/or no payments for home care! As a result, hundreds of the most severely disabled in the state of California are languishing abandoned and unattended by their attendants who were being paid late or never by a new payroll system too confusing to work with! A formal petition was submitted on October 23rd, 2016 to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on behalf of people with disabilities, independent living centers and other advocates by the group’s counsel, Atty. Lynn S. Carman of the Medicaid Defense Fund summarizing the violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other Civil Rights Protections.
The disabled call it “bureaucratic terrorism” when the State sends their very complicated timesheets too late for the workers to get paid on time. Providers for people with disabilities on the IHSS program also are required to first obtain a criminal background check and attend an orientation which may take weeks or months for a county to arrange. IHSS recipients also have to obtain forms from the County and providers have to obtain timesheets from the State before they can send in these forms. These delays are by State design, preventing IHSS recipients from obtaining replacement providers and forcing thousands into nursing homes.
The home care program known as In Home Services (IHSS) that once was the key to independence and health is now rendered broken by the State’s new payroll system and new bureaucratic policies procedures!
In response to the Complaint, the California Senate Human Services Committee is holding a Hearing in Los Angeles, the same day, November 1st at 9:30 AM at 200 N. Spring Street, Board of Public Works Hearing Room on the 3rd floor of LA City Hall.
“The tragic fact is that enrolling providers are walking off the job because they are not paid for months. If they are working for someone who is not their relative, they simply can’t stay for more than a month. There are people with disabilities who are losing one provider after another, because they have no way to pay them. This violates their Civil Rights under the ADA and the Olmstead Supreme Court decision to live outside of institutions, while low-wage workers living paycheck to paycheck incur fines and can face evictions!” said Nancy Becker Kennedy, Board Member of the Los Angeles County Public Authority PASC, and Cofounder of the IHSS Consumers Union.
“Most employees we have are also IHSS employees. Some of them have gone months, others close to a year before receiving any payment for their services. We have provided some of them with emergency loans as they have become delinquent in paying bills, even rent.
I have met with fellow supported living service providers and ALL of them have expressed similar concerns with working with IHSS. The IHSS system is broken!” said Suad Bisogno, Supported Living Worker for the Regional Centers.